Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Planning a Safari Themed Wedding

   I've been thinking about themed weddings and what a trend they seem to be. It is a great way to keep your wedding coordinated and give your guests something to look forward to. And there are so many different ways to go with your wedding theme - tea party, love bird, vintage, or tropical destination. And why not safari?!   I know, I know- most of you are thinking crazy leopard printed table clothes, big feathered hats, and zebra patterned bridesmaids.  I can only imagine how this theme can easily go awry. But there are so many ways to carry out this idea by just keeping it simple.

(Photo above is from the San Diego Wild Animal Park)
  First and foremost is choosing the right venue - indoors or outdoors. Consider having it at a zoo or african museum or art gallery.  Many locations like those do host private parties but often require you purchase wedding insurance and for you to hire an experienced caterer.

 When selecting your decorations - remember - keep it simple. Choose from shades of brown, tan and white as your base color. You can add accents of red, orange and teal. (think flowers & candles in these colors).  Exotic flowers such as calla lilies and other bright colored hues work best. Select table & chair materials made of wood, burlap linen and nudcloth. To enhance the mood, add a few unique wooden sculptures.

What to Wear
  If you would like to stick with a white or ivory gown, choose a gown that is loose fitting or simple. Select something made of light weight fabrics - linen and silk. Then add safari influenced accessories - colorful beads, ivory, bracelets from West Africa.  Consider tan suits for the groom & groomsmen. If you want to add some color to your wedding party - consider choosing a print for your bridesmaids dresses. And no -I'm not thinking leopard or cheetah. More along the idea of clean floral patterns or solid brighter colored reds or oranges.

  Working with a designer to create a unique cake will only help to enhance your safari theme. But stick with decorations that will go with your wedding apparel and venue decor.  Hor d'oeuvres should have a traditional african flavor - dried fruits chutneys and crackers and iltong (dried meats) .  Included in the meal, consider geelrys (yellow rice with raisins), steamed corn bread and bitter greens salad. Desserts, along with your cake, can include soetkoekies (walnut cookies) koeksisters and brandy soaked fruits. (Click for or some different recipes ideas here.)

   Traditional African music isn't necessary for the entire night, but add some light African jazz during dinner will help set the mood.  If you can find it in your budget, a great surprise for your guests, is to hire some dancers to preform a few traditional african dances. (Check with dance schools / universities to help you get a good rate.)

Happy Planning!

More inspiration boards & information:
Safari Honeymoons
Safari Honeymoon Giveaway by the Wedding Channel

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